Helsingin kaupunki, kulttuurin ja vapaa-ajan toimiala

Dance Theatre Auraco ponders on children’s reduced bodily expression in the time of smartphones in their new piece The Why Mix

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In its new piece The Why Mix Dance Theatre Auraco ponders on children’s reduced bodily expression and movement constructions in the time of smartphones and emojis. The performance takes all the kids and like-minded adults to a playful and exhilarating exploration where you have a permission to wonder about different phenomena of movement. The Why Mix will premiere at Annantalo Arts Centre on Tuesday 1 December at 18:00.

Dance Theatre Auraco’s The Why Mix wonders about the secrets of body language with children and adults. The performance premieres at Annantalo on 1 December. Photo: Minna Hatinen.
Dance Theatre Auraco’s The Why Mix wonders about the secrets of body language with children and adults. The performance premieres at Annantalo on 1 December. Photo: Minna Hatinen.

For children, the word ‘why’ is the key to understanding and knowledge. “Mix” is a mixture. The Why Mix throws questions in the air about the meanings and interpretations of body language and movement.

The performance is a geometric, thrilling, colourful and partly serious mixture of contemporary dance, mime and music. The Why Mix’s visuality draws its inspiration from the Bauhaus style. Bauhaus is a hundred-year-old design style where geometrical shapes and asymmetrical compositions are typical. In The Why Mix, Bauhaus can be seen for example in the choreography that plays with geometry, as well as in the colourful and three-dimensional costumes.

The performance is a co-production with Annantalo. In the Why Mix workshops during the residency at Annantalo, children and youngsters had the opportunity to watch Auraco’s rehearsals and discuss with the artists what they saw and experienced. The groups’ own art teachers continued working on the themes with their respective groups. The participants of the workshops represented the entire art field, from comics to ceramics and from puppet theatre to dance and writing, not forgetting theatre and visual arts.

“The feedback from the children who participated in the workshops has a key role when we prepare the performance. It has always been important to us to hear the thoughts of the young audiences early in the creation process, because we are doing this for them,” says Päivi Aura.

Päivi Aura is the founder and one of the two artistic directors of Dance Theatre Auraco. She is a choreographer, dancer, director and teacher/educator, who has a long and extensive experience in many different fields of dance and related subjects. Since 1998, Päivi has focused her work mainly on children’s dance. She has created performances, projects and other art and culture activities with children and for children. Päivi is one of the first Finnish theatre professionals to focus on very young audiences.

Dance Theatre Auraco is a unique and highly visual dance and mime theatre, and one of the most frequently touring Finnish dance companies on an international scale. The company has toured in 26 countries, both in Europe and Asia. Auraco has also been a pioneer in children’s dance in Finland for years. It is also the first company to introduce mime, which is currently regaining its popularity, to Finnish audiences. The theatre is managed by choreographer and dancer Päivi Aura and dance and mime artist Kati Lehtola.

The Why Mix is a part of the ‘Mapping – a Map on the Aesthetics of Performing Arts for Early Years’ project of the EU’s Creative Europe programme. The project focuses on the aesthetic encounters between artists and small children in performing arts.

Dance Theatre Auraco: The Why Mix

Working group:
Choreography: Päivi Aura
Dancers: Kati Lehtola, Veera Lamberg
Saxophonist & clarinetist: Heli Hartikainen
Music and sound design: Heli Hartikainen
Costume design: Piritta Kämi-Conway
Lighting: Nicolas Salo
Images: Minna Hatinen
Production: Dance Theatre Auraco, Annantalo, Pragma Helsinki

Duration: 45 minutes (no intermission)
Age recommendation: 4+ years
Language: The performance is non-verbal and suitable for audiences of all languages
Tickets: €10

Performances:
Tue 1 December at 18:00 (premiere)
Fri 4 December at 18:00
Sat 5 December at 12:00 noon
Sat 5 December at 14:00

Annantalo Arts Centre
Annankatu 30, Helsinki
www.annantalo.fi 

We pay attention to customer safety: we take special care of hygiene and restrict the number of spectators to ensure safe distances. We recommend persons over 15 years of age to wear a face mask when attending our events.

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Dear journalist, we would like to invite you to the premiere or to any another show suitable for you! You can request press tickets from producer Sanja Kulomaa, sanja@pragmahelsinki.fi

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Contacts

Inquiries, interview requests and press reservations:
Producer
Sanja Kulomaa
+358 (0)50 337 1333, sanja@pragmahelsinki.fi
Pragma Helsinki

Culture Producer
Katariina Metsälampi
+358 (0)50 529 3672, katariina.metsalampi@hel.fi
City of Helsinki, Culture and Leisure Division
Annantalo Arts Centre

Communications Planner
Terhi Honkio
+358 (0)40 169 9706, terhi.honkio@hel.fi
City of Helsinki, Culture and Leisure Division
Communications and Marketing Services

Images

Dance Theatre Auraco’s The Why Mix wonders about the secrets of body language with children and adults. The performance premieres at Annantalo on 1 December. Photo: Minna Hatinen.
Dance Theatre Auraco’s The Why Mix wonders about the secrets of body language with children and adults. The performance premieres at Annantalo on 1 December. Photo: Minna Hatinen.
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Dancers Kati Lehtola and Veera Lamberg and musician Heli Hartikainen in The Why Mix performance, which has been prepared in workshops together with children. Photo: Minna Hatinen.
Dancers Kati Lehtola and Veera Lamberg and musician Heli Hartikainen in The Why Mix performance, which has been prepared in workshops together with children. Photo: Minna Hatinen.
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Helsinki’s cultural centres Annantalo, Caisa, Kanneltalo, Malmitalo, Maunula House, Stoa and Vuosaari House provide residents with cultural events, performances, exhibitions, courses and art education.

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